When was the last time you and four of your attractive-as-models buddies from different ethnic backgrounds laughed heartily while pointing at a computer screen? No? What about that time you and your other unattainable attractive friend laughed at nothing at all while eating salads in a place that was both ambiguous and well-lit? I can’t even remember that. Perhaps it’s because genuine individuals don’t carry out such actions. But these corny scenes seem to make up the majority of stock photography.
The footage that LOLNEIN parodies has a negative reputation, as do stock pictures and stock imagery in general. But the truth is that non-corny stock photos are widely available and quite helpful for both designers and businesses. To begin with, they are less expensive and simpler to utilise than custom photos. The key is to use them correctly. However, how precisely do you do that?
We’ll cover both how to use stock photographs in this article and, perhaps more crucially, how not to.
Describe stock photography:
Stock images are standardised pictures, drawings, and icons produced without a specific project in mind. They are subsequently licenced, typically for a charge, to people or organisations for use in promotional items, websites, packaging, books, and other things.
Many stock platforms are beginning to focus on particular stock photography genres and aesthetics, such as more diversified stock images and more realistic, natural stock photography.
Stock photography is a fantastic way to sell your work and can help you increase your revenue if you’re a photographer trying to launch a full-time photography business.
Are stock photos useful?
They might be. If you edit and add your own touches to stock photos, they become much more adaptable. The truth is that stock photos work best when they don’t appear to be stock photos.
The Marketing Experiments blog compared the effectiveness of stock and personalised pictures a few years ago. They discovered a 35% increase in conversions after they replaced a generic stock photo of a woman with a picture of the real founder (and a caption mentioning him).
These data are supported by the Nielsen Norman Group. Their eye-tracking tests reveal that stock photos receive less attention than photographs of genuine people, indicating that modern humans may have developed a “sixth sense” for identifying stock from customised images.
But there is one significant advantage that stock photos do have over personalised ones, and that is cost and usability. In a few hours, you can explore and download all the stock photographs you require for very little, if any, money. Contrast that with customised images, which demand a qualified photographer, scheduled photo sessions, and occasionally even models. Custom picture shoots demand a lot of time, money, and effort, and the costs add up quickly.
So choosing images that appear real is the best strategy for using stock photos. With this, you can receive quick and simple images without having to pay for personalised ones, which is the best of all worlds.
How many different kinds of stock licences exist?
A lot! Different licence types, including particular permissions for commercial use and modification, are available for stock photos. Designers typically deal with three fundamental types:
Royalty-free: The user is not required to pay any royalties and is permitted unlimited use of the image. They include Public Domain (work that has had its intellectual property rights terminated) and Creative Commons (where artists agree to make their work royalty-free), however these may call for special attributions.
Rights-managed: Images are pay-per-use and can be licenced for use in accordance with specific projects, a time frame, or a location.
Extended or enhanced: This offers more freedoms than a normal licence, allowing for a variety of picture applications as well as resale and commercial use (like t-shirt).
Read our field guide to stock picture licencing for more information on the nuances of stock licences.
There are many free stock pictures available if you’re on a tight budget, and stock photographs vary in price depending on where you get them. While some stock image websites allow you to pay per image, others charge a membership fee that gives you access to a set number of downloads per cycle.
Where can one locate stock images?
There appear to be stock photos everywhere, but some places are more reliable than others. Understanding your demands and budget is the first step. If you want a large number of stock photos or anticipate using fresh ones frequently over time, it may be worthwhile to research paid stock photo providers. You may already be familiar with these names:
Adobe Stock is renowned for its depth and variety. We even created a 6-step manual for selecting the ideal image on it because it is so helpful.
One of the most recognisable brands in stock photography is Getty Images, which provides music as well as stock pictures, images, and videos. If you’re using large HD photographs or films, Getty’s pricing discounts for groups of 5 and 10 might save you hundreds of dollars.
Downloading free stock photos might be preferable, yet the affordability of stock imagery is a draw as well. Check out our list of 30 sites that offer free public domain images if that sounds more like what you’re looking for. Just be careful to adhere to the rules so you don’t unintentionally break the agreement.
Keep in mind that if a stock image is successful, you won’t be able to tell that it is. Don’t be afraid to transform stock photographs into unique ones because whatever steps you may do to personalise it will increase its effectiveness.